Finance Consumer Final Christmas warning: Australia Post parcel deadline fast approaching
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Final Christmas warning: Australia Post parcel deadline fast approaching

Australia Post
Australians must now send parcels by Express Post to ensure they arrive on time. Photo: AAP
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Australians who haven’t sent their Christmas parcels yet will need to pay more to ensure they arrive on time after a key deadline passed.

Australia Post said on Monday that presents sent through its standard delivery service may fail to arrive by Christmas Day if sent after December 13, amid lengthy delivery delays across the country.

But parcels sent by the more expensive Express Post service should still make it in time.

The Christmas deadline for Express Post is December 20, or December 15 for delivery to Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

After those dates, even express parcels might not arrive before Christmas.

An unprecedented strain on Australia Post’s delivery network is driving the tight deadlines, with ecommerce demand soaring during the pandemic.

Australia Post executive general manager Rod Barnes expects a record 52 million parcels or more will be sent over December, pushing delivery networks to their limits before Christmas Day.

“We know a lot of people did get their Christmas shopping done early during those big cyber sales and, as a result, we’ve been delivering over 2.3 million parcels each weekday,” he said in a statement on Monday.

“But for those who haven’t had the chance to finalise their gifts yet, we’re doing everything we can to give them the best chance of arriving, including delivering on weekends and until early evening where needed, up until Christmas Eve.

“If people do miss those sending deadlines, we will still do our very best to get those presents delivered in time, but it’s important to know that they may not arrive until after Christmas.”

Luckily, Australians worried about having their parcels delivered on time have a few alternatives.

If you prefer to shop online but want to avoid a delayed delivery, click and collect turns weeks of waiting into a two-hour turnaround.

This is when you buy goods online and select a shop to pick them up from – but typically only retailers with physical stores offer these services.

That said, not all retailers are suffering from the same delivery delays as Australia Post.

Amazon, for example, is still offering next-day delivery.

So check the delivery options before making a purchase online or in store.

Australia Post final cut-off dates

  • To send a parcel within Australia (Express Post): Monday, December 20
  • To send a parcel to/from Western Australia and/or the Northern Territory (Express Post): Wednesday, December 15
  • To send a Christmas card within your state: Monday, December 20
  • To send a Christmas card interstate: Thursday, December 16.